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Books are so precious…

The Mortal World Book Cover The Mortal World
The Invisible Library #5
Genevieve Cogman
Fiction, Alternate History, Sword and Sorcery, Fantasy, Female Sleuth
November 27, 2018

A corrupt countess. A spy in danger. And an assassin at large. The fifth title in Genevieve Cogman's witty and wonderful Invisible Library series, The Mortal Word is a sparkling bookish adventure. Peace talks are always tricky . . . especially when a key diplomat gets stabbed. This murder rudely interrupts a top-secret summit between the warring dragons and Fae, so Librarian-spy Irene is summoned to investigate. In a version of 1890s Paris, Irene and her detective friend Vale must track down the killer - before either the peace negotiations or the city go up in flames. Accusations fly thick and fast. Irene soon finds herself in the seedy depths of the Parisian underworld on the trail of a notoriously warlike Fae, the Blood Countess. However, the evidence against the Countess is circumstantial. Could the assassin - or assassins - be closer than anyone suspects?

Just when you think you know who did what and why, the author throws in another twist and off we go again.

Irene manages to logically deduce all from the minutest of inklings and fails to get herself killed, several times, by the skin of her teeth – usually as she uses them to help her pronounce The Language.

This universe and world building gets ever more complicated in its political scheming and skulduggery, and fast pace action follows.

A very satisfying read with much philosophy about truth and reality to contemplate and ponder.

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And it Howls: Majanka explains

Wolf of Baskervilles Book Cover Wolf of Baskervilles
(Adventures of Marisol Holmes, #3)
Majanka Verstraete
Genres: Paranormal, Young Adult
Published by: Monster House Books
Publication date: November 12th 2019

Who is Marisol Holmes? She’s a teenager. Detective. Jaguar shifter. And don’t forget, she’s also the descendant of the great Sherlock Holmes. Our heroine had been in some pretty tight spots before, but now? She’s about to face her biggest challenge yet: a powerful shifter with a taste for blood. No one has faced down the deadly wolf of the Baskervilles and lived to tell the tale. Even so, Marisol Holmes plans to do just that.

The idea of writing about the great-great granddaughter of Sherlock Holmes actually arose because my publisher suggested I write a story about shifters and combine it with my background as a Criminology major. So, we started brainstorming about how we could combine these two factors, and I had the idea of a young girl working for a secret Conclave solving supernatural mysteries involving monsters. Now, Sherlock Holmes is the world’s most famous detective, and the whole atmosphere of running around in catacombs and hunting monsters reminded me of Victorian London, of eras long past, which is the timeframe for the Holmes novels. I wanted a main character who was as analytic, calculated and smart as the great detective, so why not make her Sherlock Holmes’ great-great granddaughter?

I think Sherlock Holmes is an inspiration for all mystery writers. He is, hands down, the world’s most famous detective. Instead of just drawing inspiration from the source material, I also wanted to give a wink to readers who are more familiar with Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s works: this is why the first novel in The Adventures of Marisol Holmes series is called “A Study in Shifters”, a twist on the first official Sherlock Holmes’ novel, “A Study in Scarlet”. The second book is called “The Sign of the Serpent,” a title which is a spin on the second Sherlock Holmes’ book, “The Sign of the Four”. Although the books are not similar in terms of content, I liked the idea of drawing inspiration from the titles. Hence again, the title of this book, “The Wolf of the Baskervilles”, reminiscent of “The Hound of the Baskervilles.”

The same is true for some characters in the book. Mannix, the villain, the descendant of Moriarty. Wyatt, who takes up the role of Watson. Indra, who partially takes up the role of Irene Adler from the original books. While they all remind of characters from the original, they’re all also very different, and that’s what I enjoyed the most about this series, being able to give subtle hints to the source material while writing something completely different. 

Author Bio

Author Majanka Verstraete has written more than twenty unique works of fiction. A native of Belgium, Majanka’s novels explore the true nature of monsters: the good, the bad, and just about every species in between. Her young adult books include the acclaimed Mirrorland (YA Dark Fantasy) and Angel of Death (YA Paranormal) series of novels. At MHB, Majanka is currently developing a new YA shifter series with a fresh take on fierce female detectives called THE ADVENTURES OF MARISOL HOLMES.

When she’s not writing, Majanka is probably playing World of Warcraft or catching up with the dozens of TV series she’s addicted to.

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